Yiddish has a rich legacy of storytelling for children, including both global classics and works that originated in the mother tongue of Ashkenazi Jewry. Join Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone translator Arun Viswanath and Miriam Udel, editor and translator of Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature for a wide-ranging conversation with Moment Deputy Editor Sarah Breger about how they are helping to bring the legacy of Yiddish into the twentieth century, their work in relation to broad developments in Jewish history and how it intersects with their own family narratives.
A heartfelt letter sent to a newspaper editor a century ago has long stayed with me. I happened upon it decades after it was written. With his soul in torment, a New York factory owner had turned to the editor for advice. He was not paying his workers— like him, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe—nearly enough for them to make ends meet. He had a business to run, and there were limits to the wages he could afford. Still, the suffering of his employees and their families tore at his heart. What should he do?